Charles Murtaugh, noting some of these same sources, agrees that the issue is Bush's culpability as an executive of a series of failed companies that used shady accounting tactics, while maintaining that this story has more legs than the echo chamber would like because--surprise--people care about their retirement or college funds being wiped out.
It doesn't matter whether Bush or Cheney did anything specifically illegal. The President is going to have a hard time avoiding the perception that his much-touted buisiness acumen was just another story of inflated claims and sweetheart deals for an executive who was at best asleep at the switch--and mind, that scenario presumes no criminal wrongdoing, which I do not concede at this point.
Oh, and by the way, the whole he-didn't-know-what-was-happening line was hackneyed back in the Iran-contra days, as Charles at SixDifferentWays recalls.
Part of the sniff test I give conservative commentary is seeing if it'd sound the same if the names were switched around. (It's easy and fun--here's an exercise: Would the supreme Court have voted the same way if Gore had been ahead in the Florida vote count?) For all the claims of Bush's "exoneration"--a term the SEC finding only uses in denying any such implication--wonder what the conservative blogosphere would make of an investigation of Clinton's finances when his father was President, let alone his personal lawyer playing a prominet role in the investigating agency, if not the investigation?
By the way, let's also remember that for much of the Clinton presidency--the one certain commentators are blaming for setting the moral tone or lack thereof that lead to these scandals--Republicans were in charge of Congress, having arrived with an agenda that called specifically for the limitation of regulation on business and accounting.
And Bush himself ran on the premise that business was over-regulated. Even now, he seems to be embracing reform half-heartedly at best.